Our adventure in Dubai continues with a day spent the Jumeirah area next to the famous Palm island. We started by visiting the Jumeirah public beach next to the Burj Al- Arab hotel. This fancy 7 star hotel (they self awarded that many stars as the official count only goes up to 5 stars), is the third tallest hotel in the world; however, 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space.
Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. You cannot even go close to that bridge without having a reservation to stay the night there. If you want, you can stay at The Royal Suite, with a bargain of $24,000 per night (minibar items are not included).
This Jumeirah public beach was beautiful but waaaay too hot to stay there more than 30 min; there is absolutely no shade in there and of course no drinking water allowed because of Ramadan.
The view of the famous Dubai landmark hotel is fantastic and probably the closest you can get without staying there. The water is as hot as a tea which is nice for about 10 seconds before you start to boil. Usually beaches in summer are completely empty for these reasons.
We were roasting so we continued our journey to the Medinat Jumeirah. This is a luxurious 5 star resort in Dubai and is also the largest resort in the emirate, spreading across over 40 acres of landscape and gardens.
It is beautifully decorated like an old Arabian neighborhood that also includes a nice market, restaurants and a waterfront.
In the souk they sell antiquities to souvenirs and its full of restaurants and coffee shops. The price of these souvenirs is crazy high so we didn’t spend much time in here.
We were happy to see that Starbucks was open, but once we ordered we were told we couldn’t drink it there as it is Ramadan and can only take it go to drink at home. Given it would take about an hour to get to our hotel, our only option to consume our drink by hiding in the toilet to drink it. That is where Sarah had a breakdown! The challenges of Ramadan had caused Sarah’s to become very frustrated. We basically have a description about what aggravated us so much about this situation.
This goes against my religion, so I will not do it…….. that is fine!
This goes against my religion, so you cannot do it…..That did not feel fair.
We took a taxi to the Dubai Marina to meet with Samy. We went to the mall food court to eat some lunch and then walked around the marina full of expensive yachts and residences. The Dubai Marina is claimed to be the world’s largest man-made marina.
Samy drove with us to one of the two iconic artificial Palm Islands, this man-made island is full of fancy hotels and expensive houses. You cannot go inside any of the “branches” but you can drive along the trunk and the outermost branch. It is hard to believe this is an artificial island as the size is enormous; the diameter of the island is 5 Km.
The enormous Atlantis hotel (same hotel as the famous one in Bahamas) is at the end of the palm and there is an expensive monorail that takes you there if you don’t have a car.
The construction of the Palm islands along the coast of Dubai has caused several large environmental changes: a reduction in the area’s aquatic life, erosion of the coastal soil, and irregular sediment transport along the shore. There is also a dramatic change in wave patterns along the coast of Dubai due to the rock walls constructed around the palm islands; this has led to the weakening of the shores of Dubai. I guess these guys didn’t think this through. And by the way, the Emirates is five times more unsustainable than any other country at the moment… slow clap!!
To create this islands, the sand is sprayed from dredging ships, guided by a Global Positioning System, onto the required area. The spraying process is known as rainbowing because of the rainbow-like arcs produced in the air when the sand is sprayed. The outer edge of each palm’s encircling crescent is a large rock breakwater. The breakwater of the Palm Jumeirah contains over seven million tons of rock; each rock was placed individually by a crane, its position signed off by a diver, and given a Global Positioning System coordinate.
We parked the car and tried to walk into the Atlantis Hotel but got denied entry immediately. We then walked around to enter the small shopping center next to the hotel where visitors can go to another aquarium and a water park. We didn’t go to either as paying $80 for a mediocre attractions was not on our list.
We went again to the Dubai mall because we missed the Etihad mall exit. That mall has the indoor ski slopes which we wanted to see but we were not going to pay anyways $80 for 2 hours of riding. We decided to enjoy the a/c and see a movie and then found a really good restaurant with the view of the Burj Khalifa and the fountains that was not terribly expensive. We wanted to do the Iftar buffet but you have to arrive right when the days fast ends and we arrived too late so the buffet was already closed.
Bonus Pic of The Day: The Emirates is all about money and status, and what a better way to make you feel poor than to have a metro first class train (called “Gold Class” of course). We were feeling rich that night so we ended up paying a few extra Dirhams to be able to experience it. The seats look like a European train instead of the typical side seats on the metro. Not sure if I would pay it again but it was nice to feel rich and powerful for a few minutes!